Otto the Otter in Fergus Falls
Our family vacations every year in Otter Tail County on beautiful Star Lake. There is no shortage of beautiful lakes in Otter Tail County. Its home to over 1,100 lakes! That’s the most lakes in one county in the nation! Otter Tail County is also a hot spot for roadside sculpture and is where my interest with these giants started.
Otto the Otter
In 1972, a group of Fergus Falls students from a high school shop class built Otto the Otter to show spirit for their school mascot. With the help of their teacher and local artist Steve Jaenisch, the students used metal rods and concrete to create the giant otter. Otto measures 40 feet long and is located on the shore of Grotto Lake River at Adams Park, just off Burlington Avenue.
If you’re like me and love wildlife, be sure to bring your binoculars along when you visit Otto the Otter. Next to him on the edge of the Otter Tail River, is a great white egret rookery. Besides the egrets, we also watched geese and ducks who like to hang out along the river.
A really nice playground will keep your kids busy as you watch the wildlife. Finally, there is a monument to children who have passed away from the Fergus Falls area called “The Angel of Hope Memorial Park”. A place of comfort and hope, the memorial provides a place for parents and families to remember their beloved children.
A short drive away, you can find Delagoon Park, which features a campground, boat launch, fishing pier, sand volleyball court, and beautiful new playground. Bring your bikes and hop on the Central Lakes Bike Trail, which connects Fergus Falls to Osakis. The park is set up perfectly with everything you’ll need to have a great weekend camping trip.
Museums and Historic Places
While exploring Fergus Falls, stop in and tour the Otter Tail County Historical Society to view exhibits showing the early history of Native Americans and settlers of the area.
Learn about native prairies and wetlands at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, which is located just southeast of Fergus Falls. The interpretive center features exhibits about the natural history of the prairie pothole ecosystem and provides guided naturalist programs throughout the summer.
Beginning in Fergus Falls, you can drive and explore the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail, which stretches 500 miles through southern Manitoba, Canada. Along the drive, stop at 68 different parks and natural areas to view over 275 different species of birds. Guide books are available at the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce. I’m putting this one on my Minnesota “bucket list”!
- City of Fergus Falls
- Fergus Falls Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
- Angel of Hope Memorial Park
- Otter Tail County Historical Society
- Prairie Wetlands Learning Center
- Pine to Prairie Birding Trail
- Otter Tail Lakes Country Tourism Association
Fergus Falls Events
- Summer Fest– Concert in the Park, Kid’s activities, music, food, art and craft vendors, Street Dance, fun for everyone! Held in June.
- West Otter Tail County Fair– Held in July.
- Monarch Festival– A festival of dance, music, visual arts, film, theater, the spoken word, and other community events in honor of the monarch butterfly. Held in August.
Thanks for Reading!